Mars Astronauts Likely to Witness 1 Megaton Asteroid Impacts
The latest estimate of asteroid impact probabilities on Mars suggests a three year mission would experience a 1 megaton event
Bruckman and co’s work is one of mathematical modelling and testing. These guys have created a model that describes the rate of impact on Earth and tested it against the existing data.
Their model suggests that Tunguska-type events of around 10 megatons should occur roughly once a century and smaller 1 megaton events once every 15 years. They say that both these predictions are compatible with crater counts and most other estimates.
Emboldened by this success, they apply the same model to Mars, where impact rates are likely to be higher because of its proximity to the asteroid belt. Here’s the interesting part: these guys calcaulte that Mars experiences a 1 megaton event every three years.
That’s significant because future missions to Mars may well last several years. “We expect that Mars visitors spending a few years there will have a high probability of witnessing a megaton-type meteorite impact.” they say.